Tuesday, December 30, 2008

sew groovy

The event that sort of kicked off our string of bad luck was the passing of Lee's maternal grandmother back in October. Since then, we have been making trips to Montgomery to help clear out her house. I believe it's safe to say that this woman kept everything. EVERYthing. I spent a good hour tossing items from the pantry that were not from this decade (or this century, for that matter). Some of the canned goods were oozing black from the bottom (can you say botulism?). My hour of labor yielded no visible results; the pantry is still packed.

So when I was asked whether I might be interested in a closet full of fabric, I was inclined to say no. I am trying to get rid of stuff, not collect it. And when I say a closet full, I mean that she could have started a small fabric store. But once I started going through it, I just couldn't help myself. There was some really good stuff in there:

Those are just a couple of samples of the HUGE and HEAVY bag full of fabric I must now wash. (It's kinda old and stale.) Once it's all ready, I can get to it using this:

Time to start making things for next Christmas....

Monday, December 29, 2008

at long last

Other than some sinus irritation, Leah's MRI results are normal.

Phew. (As opposed to phick.)

The doctor's office was extremely apologetic about how long it took. The holidays, combined with the moving picture quality of the results, delayed the feedback. Thank goodness we don't have to do that again. I'll be consulting with them and the pediatrician again next week to determine whether we need to shift gears and visit the twitch clinic. Some days it's so minimal that we hardly think about it; others it's so bad that she holds her eye and asks for a warm, wet washcloth, and the worry grabs hold again. The twitch clinic would try to determine whether it's your basic twitch, or whether it looks more like Tourette's (the age of onset fits).

Did I hide my nervous wreckishness well?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

would you like to play a game?

CAPTCHA: Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart

Of all the captchas I encounter on various different sites, I like Blogger's the best. They're readable, they don't include numbers, and they're never actual words, although they have actual word potential. Perfect nonsense.

For several days, I have been recording my captchas with the goal of creating definitions for them. (Here is where taking Latin instead of French and Spanish would have been useful.)

Today's captcha is...


- noun: an unsophisticated urbanite (a big-city hick)
- interjection: expressing upset or tension as opposed to relief or fatigue (opposite of phew)

What do you think phick should mean?

Friday, December 26, 2008

a little something i left out

Death of a Jeep

I told myself it was because he never downloaded the pictures onto my computer, but really it was because it was all just too much at the time. Dear readers, you'll never believe what happened today: a small portion of the universe imploded right over our house! Now, I know you've already left several concerned and sympathetic comments, but please keep coming back for more!

So here's the story: In between the death of our dog and Leah's MRI, a three ton company van ran a red light and crashed smack dab into Lee. I mean, like, the only thing between the van and Lee was Lee's car door, which couldn't be opened afterwards. Pieces of the dashboard flew off, Lee's head broke his door's window, and the sandwich he was eating for lunch ended up on the hood of the van.

When Leah found out, she said, "Poor Daddy. First Dee died and then the Jeep died." Which pretty much sums it up.

Lee is absolutely fine. Physically. But he gets depressed every time he sees a Jeep, and because the Jeep used to be mine, I can relate. You can't beat the turning radius on that thing. And it held all of his tools, ladders on top, without being obnoxiously big. The red-light-runner's company's insurance paid for a rental truck, which was a bigass pickup that was impossible to park and made us feel like ugly Americans. So he's driving my old Altima and looking for a replacement Jeep.

And lo, we shall make a mess of hoppin' john on the eve of the new year, and we shall eat that hoppin' john to bring forth many miracles; to know but good news and glad tidings in the days to come.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

merry morning

Still no MRI results (I think the pictures ended up being pretty messy; we might have to do it again, with sedation -- ugh), but we managed to have a very merry Christmas anyway.

Here is Neal telling Santa that he wants a trampoline. Santa must have listened, because there was a mini-trampoline under the tree that Neal and Leah have taken turns bouncing on all morning long.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


if everything comes apart in this helium cooled
superconducting electromagnet,
we're coming apart
i think
as i hold your hand that won't

rings and zippers -- no worries, they said
just before the wallmuralwhales
began to thump and howl and
my ring began to vibrate so
i moved it to my other hand --
the one that was holding your feet that won't

no worries, they said from behind the glass
but my baby didn't come with one of those
mr safe green stickers
and good thing i thought of her ponytail holder
-mom, does she know she's moving her feet?-
two minutes, maybe; two hours, not likely she'll

i want to fall asleep standing up
-- no, i want to crawl inside the tube,
poke fun at each other's ear plugs,
notice that you are weeping
- mom, is she okay?-
i think so, just fidgety, just

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Commons

A while back, the Library of Congress partnered with Flickr to place a bunch of really cool old photographs online, open to comments and tags from the public. Since then, other libraries, museums, and archives have joined in the fun. To get a sense of what's out there, and the remarkable way that folks can participate in the conversation of history, go here, being sure to scroll down through all of the comments until you get to the really good stuff.

Friday, December 5, 2008

from halloween to hohoho


In case you were wondering what we do for fun out here:

Abstract, by Leah:

The first version of this sign said, No Boys Aloud. I thought that was equally appropriate.